Gather your family in a circle. Pass the grandmother around the circle to the music.
When the music stops, the family member holding on to the grandmother loses the game.
Avoid holding on to the grandmother. Avoid all responsibilities. Hot potato is a great game
for the family, this game puts your morals to the test. Suitable for all ages.

We often try to shift and push our responsibilities away in face of difficult times. Are we
to provide care for our parents when they are old or will we simply push them away
with the roles reversed? The main objective of this game is to pass the hot potato on to
your other family members and to try your best not to hold on to your grandmother or else
the responsibilities would now lie in your hands. This game of play demonstrates how people
try to shift and push the responsibilities of having to care for my the aged.

Just to give you a context behind this work:
Recently, my grandmother fell sick. Little did we expect this to happen as she was a really active lady and is always in and out of the house. Her sickness took a drastic turn on her lifestyle, needs, as well as her mentality towards life. She began to coop herself up in her room, storing her basic necessities the enclosed space and seem to lose that zest she took on her everyday with.

Also, with my grandmother falling sick and having to make trips to and fro the hospital, it took a toll on her children who have to juggle between their work and making time to drive my grandmother to the hospital for her sporadic medical checkups. Having to bear this burden, my ever so filial uncles and aunties decided that it was my dad’s responsibility to care for my grandmother fully. They stopped bringing my grandmother to the hospital and even avoided visiting her. My grandmother called them multiple times to ask when they would visit and they would not pick up the phone. 2 months and 12 days. It took them that long to come and see my grandmother after she was discharged from her latest stay at the hospital. To claim that they love my grandmother very much and how much they have done for her before she fell sick yet they could simply push her away just like that was so ironic and appalling to witness.

Till today, I still can’t spell out the emotions and thoughts I have towards this whole thing. Anger? Disappointment? Guilt? I haven’t too been the best granddaughter through this process. Michael suggested that I dont think too much and just go ahead and do this project and maybe through the process of making and with the final product, maybe resolve some of these negative emotions I had in my heart. 

click images to view clearly


My process
Oh my goddd it took me awhile before finally deciding on what to do. I was stuck and having an art block with my illustration book and finally decided to ditch that for I was not feeling it and it did not have the satirical quality I would like my work to possess. Hence after much (i mean a lot) deliberation, I eventually decided on making a hot potato. A “game” that manifests the idea of elderly abandonment and demonstrates how we shift and push responsibilities around when it comes to taking care of the elderly. We all want to avoid this burden.

I felt that this was a more apt in terms of the medium to convey the idea as opposed to an illustration book as I really struggled to portray this idea across in the form of still images. With this ‘game’ the audience get to participate and experience the act of passing on the grandmother which in this case is the responsibility that is passed on to their hands to the next family member. This gets them to ponder as they are confronted with this responsibility place upon them. Also this method of presenting this rather gloomy topic makes it more digestible as it is injected with the idea of play and is presented in a more light hearted manner.

Just to share a little on the Illustration book – Winter is coming.
Initially, I wanted to juxtapose my dialogue with my grandmother against a series of illustrations of a squirrel collecting and hoarding nuts in preparation for winter. Winter here is the lat season of the year and also the last stage. It represents ageing. The grey death of everything. Days are shorter, nights are longer. My grandmother finds it tough to fall asleep at night. Minutes feel like hours and her nights are tough to get through. Winter is also the coldest and most gloomy season like how ageing is the stage of live that we all want to avoid.

My grandmother would hoard food in her room as just living through each day and feeding herself becomes her priority in life. This is similar to how a squirrel hoards its food in its burrow in preparation for the arrival of winter. The main problem here was too come up with a series of visual strong enough to convey this idea and to have a powerful dialogue that flows with the illustration. I spoke to my grandmother but she just was not in the right state of mind to be conscious or to know of her actions. Hence, I did decided to write it based on my observation of how she lives her day:
In the morning, in the morning i get up.
What is the time now?
When will you give me my food?
I don’t know what I should be doing, I don’t know what I am waiting for.
What do you do everyday?
Just wake up.
Walk up and down, up and down in my room.
Wait for the telephone to ring. Wait for my friend to call me.
Just sleep in my bed.
Hungry eat biscuit, go toilet, up and down, up and down.
No one talks to me.

However, I was not feeling it deep down hence I knew that this was not working.

My thoughts
I was hoping that I could resolve some of the negative feelings and also the guilt of not being there for my grandmother as I did not take this whole ageing thing well. Initially, I did not want to accept this reality, how can someone so healthy just become like that. “Why are you like this?” “Why can’t you get better?” These thoughts ran through my head and I avoided talking to my grandmother and looking at her. I basically lived in denial.

I was afraid of crying, afraid of the pain and just afraid of this change. I didn’t want to break down. Till today, I have yet to fully accept this change but I am learning. The process of making this work did not make me feel better as I have hoped it would have. But it did make it easier to approach this topic and to talk about it to my friends. Maybe with time, things would get easier but it her time running out?


Unwanted parents? Let us clear them for you!
Taking up too much space? No longer working like how they used to?
Fret not! Let us get rid of them for you. Simply leave your parents at
your doorstep in the 
tote bag provided. It that simple and fuss free.



Deciding on the rubbish bag–to go with outlines or a blue fill. In the end, I
went with the blue fill bag as the fill helped to weigh the illustration down as
it was visually heavier than the outlined bag which helps to balance the weight
of the man on the right making it more comfortable to look at visually.


Lisa suggested that instead of illustrating the red strip out, I cut and attach a red
strip onto my print like how they do on the Chinese lunar calendar. This helped to
add textural depth to the 2d print and made it more interesting visually.


Invite ( front and back )

Voucher ( front and back )


– Poster ( put up at the HDB blocks to inform households of the happening  of the event )
– Invite ( delivered to each household to inform and prepare them for the collection day ) 
– Voucher ( as a token of appreciation for each parent donated )
– Badge ( badge of (dis)honour “PROUD DONATOR OF YOUR PARENT’S NAME)

To publicise and to inform the households of the happening of this event to they
can set aside time from their busy schedules to clear their faulty or underperforming
parents from their rooms.


Collaterals – invite, voucher, badge

To inform people of the collection day and the procedure.

Thank you for donating, Charles Lim! You will be rewarded with a 10 dollars
voucher for
each parent donated. 

Badge of (dis)honour
Proud donator of Chua Fong Fong. A badge that you can keep with you to remind
you of your noble contributions to your family and to the society.


I draw inspiration from things I hear, observe and feel everyday, translating them into visuals. I would say that soft toys are rather intimate objects for we all attach unique memories to them.  By collecting and stitching the soft toys together, I am stitching all these little stories together to tell my version of the story.

so absurd and silly that it is amusing

Looking back at my body of works, I found that they share this slightly absurd yet playful quality (definition of ludicrous) which is what makes my works entertaining. At first glance, this bag seems like a very cute and child-friendly bag, but upon a second look, you will realise like the existence of the pig man, the super puff and that the bears share the same eyeball. Just like my illustrations, they appear friendly but upon a second look you will realise some strange details.

The bag too doubles up as a pin the tail game, a game I used to play at birthday parties when I was younger. What makes this game so shareable and universal is that it requires no formal translation. The joy of the game can be translated to any language and culture, which is what I feel illustration has the power to do. Illustration is a universal language. Pin the tail is a game of play, where winning is only of marginal importance. Seeing the player stumble around trying to get the tail at the right position is where the fun of the game lies. Entertaining, at times exciting, the result is the most ludicrous. This organic process is similar to my creative process where I don’t work with an end product in mind but immerse myself in the process of working enjoying it. Lastly, this game requires the participation of people. It is only enjoyable and fun when you involve people in the game, like how I work, I find people very interesting and enjoy interacting with them and and having their input in my works.


pig man
super puff



never-never land | key-words

obsession is like an iron mask that permits us to gaze in only one direction and at one thing–just like a tidal wave that crashes through our minds and washing away all other concerns. It is intoxication. It fills you up and makes you feel capable, purposeful and not empty.


a fantasy we create about people and places as we like them to be.
it is a lie. a wonderful place. a perfect and idyllic place/state.
sort of like a utopia – an imagined place or state of things in which everything is perfect
never-never land | artist reference

Yue Minjun

Painted in vibrant colors on giant canvases and featuring laughing male figures with stylized traits,
they are mainly the artist’s self-portraits presented either as a single figure or replicated endlessly to form a mob of clones doubled over in hysterics.These unsettling figures appear in grotesque poses, creating a kind of tension straddling lightheartedness, absurdity and exaggeration, which, through repetition and variation, offer endless possibilities and have made his work both powerful and subtle. At first glance, his images look happy and amusing, but we can’t get away from an underlying sense of uneasiness – his blue skies and bubblegum-pink faces soon turn into something sinister and we realize that the subjects of his paintings are laughing at something they really shouldn’t be laughing at, like a mass execution.

Placed in ludicrous, improbable, comic or tragic situations, we find these figures grinning from ear to ear
The atmosphere may be celebratory, but Yue’s images often evoke the idea of war or death.
We are plunged into a cartoon-like world where anything is possible and absurdity is the norm. But Yue doesn’t provide any clues as to what is going on in his paintings featuring unusual image associations in which every sign remains open to interpretation. With their eyes closed and mouths wide open, the painted or sculpted faces display the rigidity of impenetrable masks, putting up a barrier to block any attempt at interiority, instead reflecting whatever the viewer wants to see in them: a caricature of Chinese society’s homogenization, a way of “grinning and bearing it” in an irrational world or a form of self-derision on the part of the artist.
The act of smiling and laughing to mask feelings of helplessness held great significance for his generation.


Garbage Hill
Armed Forces

Communist posters

Idealised and glorified  it borders on being slightly unsettling. The figures captured look flushed and healthy, often as the most perfect version of themselves.

never-never land | moodboard


never-never land | key-words
Never-never land

Capturing the essence of obsession as the perfect world you create in your mind. Obsession takes over your mind. It blinds you and all you can see and on your mind is that one thing you are obsessed about. Thinking and fantasising about it fills you up and you would find yourself grinning just thinking about it.

Obsession is a fantasy you make up of people and places as you like them to be. It takes over your mind and body and you start to lose yourself. Trapped in this idyllic state, you feel a sense of happiness but one that is intoxicating. This is obsession.

Masking this fake idyllic state with the huge grins plastered across the faces of the playful characters who seem to be in a state of euphoria, it evokes a sense of uneasiness leaving viewers question if what they see is actually joy or just a happy facade.

never-never land | colour palette

The saturated colour palette used and the rendering which involves the use of white highlights to suggest this gummy and glossy, fake world contributes to suggesting the idea of a fantasy that you find yourself lost and trapped in.


never-never land | process

deciding on the background colour
white (too stark) vs human skin (fear that it may blend in too much with the bg)
that side man makes the composition a little too cluttered

never-never land | thumbnail sketches

get lost in “paradise playground”
fill me up with happiness



blinded by the fake happiness
trapped in “paradise”














never-never land | user profile


never-never land | mock-up


about varoom | what is it exactly?
Varoom is the globally leading illustration magazine featuring a unique combination of industry insight and critical analysis of the field of illustration.

Varoom is only published bi-annually?? by the AOI (Association of Illustrators) which is the professional body for illustration in the UK that actively advocates for illustration as a profession. Established in 1973, the AOI champions illustrators and the illustration industry with education, promotion and campaigning
to achieve a thriving industry for us all.

TheAOI provides contract and business support to illustrators. They champion the rights of illustrators, and run competitions and events, promoting and encouraging commercial and ethical standards within the industry, to improve the standing of illustration as a profession.

about varoom | having a place for illustration

Varoom magazine is changing the perception of illustration in the creative industries

Varoom is trying to clear the common misconception people have of illustration is that it is one-dimensional. However, Varoom subject-matter helps us understand that all wider-world ideas are equally as pertinent to illustration as other creative disciplines.

Olivia Ahmad, the new editor, explains that the definition of what illustrators do is expanding all the time. Whether the work is personal or commissioned, an illustrator’s unique voice is always embedded in the work, even a tight brief to advertise a product can tell us a lot about society and what is considered desirable Illustrators have a toolkit of largely unrecognised skills that are essential for coming up with the images for which they are commissioned.

There are infinite potentials for the application of drawing, illustration and illustrative thinking. However in the 1990s, the illustration industry took a bad turn with rapid technological advancements resulting in ubiquitous design software being used to create images that took space from illustrators. Nonetheless, illustration has remained resilient and commissioners are increasingly seeing the value of an illustrator’s distinctive visual language, especially “now that all our daily lives are flooded with photographs and other media competing for our attention.” It seems certain that there will be exciting progressions in the field of illustration and Varoom offers an essential platform where illustrator’s can demonstrate their abilities.

about varoom | the obsession issue
Obsession: an issue about obsessive practice and being obsessed with one thing or another.

Varoom’s Obsession issue – an issue about Obsessive practice, Obsessed with Neon, Obsessed with Ladybird, Obsessed with Outsider Artists who are Obsessed with One Thing or another. Writer Linda Scott observes that East End Outsider Artist Madge Gill would paint, knit and sew while in a delirious trance, whilst in possession of her spirit guide Myrninterest. While Barcelona illustrator Mr Mourao says in the We’re Lost In Pictures feature, “The main goal is to draw as much detail as possible so that the viewer gets sucked in and gets lost in the drawing.”

 about varoom | association of illustrators






D  E  S  I  G  N    R  E  F  I  N  E  M  E  N  T    &    M  O  C  K  U  P

Feedback from the sharing session:
-Body copy is too big

– Characters should at least look like young adults
– Can add a couple of elderly
– Logo can only be in black and white or retain the original colour

Moving on with the feedback, I made several changes to the initial design by including a few elderly in the design and at the same time, changing the attire of the characters such that they appear more mature looking.
In the final design, I also changed the point size of the body copy and moved the boy in the scotch tape on the bottom left corner further upwards such that it would not overlap with the body copy.

It was also suggested that I could try out a more colourful palette, however, I find it rather difficult to work with so many colours with so many elements and hence, decided to stick with my monochromatic yellow colour scheme.

F  I  N  A  L    D  E  S  I  G  N






1st Room: Love Forever

1. What techniques did Kusama use to unify her canvases?
– repetition of shapes/motifs (e.g eyes, circles, triangles

– monochromatic palette

2. Describe her use of space?

– all-over composition
– no subject in focus, fills the entire canvas

3. What emotional responses do you have when standing in front of her paintings? Can you observe anything about the relationship of the size of the paintings to your own body?

– overwhelmed, as the paintings tower over and surround us

4. What do the marks and forms in these black and white paintings remind you of?
– blackheads, my nose

2nd Room: Tulip Room Walk into the Tulip Room

1. How does your emotional response change going from Love Forever to the Tulip Room?
-unsettled (way too bright, too many colours…I can’t)

2. Does the Tulip Room evoke any memories? What are the sculptural forms telling you?
-M&Ms and smarties YUMYARRRMYAMYUM
– Doesn’t tell me much actually, seem like mere decorative objects

3rd Room: My Eternal Soul: Walk into the room My Eternal Soul

1. Compare the use of color to the Black and White painting in Forever Love. How does the color affect you differently? How do you feel?
-as more than one colour is used, the environment feels much more vibrant and exciting.

2. What techniques does Kusama use to unify the color canvases?
repetition (the use of motifs)
– heavy, bold, black marker used

3. Compare the right & left walls. What are the difference in the emotions evoked by these different walls?
RIGHT: looks like linocut, only 2 colours used
– LEFT: black + 2 colours
– The paintings on the right are less imposing with the absence of the heavy black lines.

4th Room: Narcissus Garden

1. What differences do you see between experiencing the Narcissus Garden on its own and knowing/imagining Kusama’s actions during the Venice Biennale where she wore the kimono and sold the balls. Please read the wall information about the performance.
experiencing it on its own there seems to be a lack of context
– looks like decorative objects

Room 5: Early Works

1. What painting techniques is Kusama using in the 1st five small paintings? What types of marks are used?
– layering
– dabbing and stamping
– dry brushing

Infinity Nets:

1. What is meant by the term “Repetitive All-over Approach”?
The canvas is filled edge to edge with no particular focus or main subject.

2. Compare your emotional responses of the white Infinity Net paintings to the color Infinity net paintings on the opposite walls. What happens when you stare at these paintings?
– d i z z y y y s o d i z z y

3. Describe 1 or 2 of the Infinity Net paintings.
– Subject: Net
– Content: Hallucinations she experienced as a child
– Materials: Oil on canvas
– Technique: Small loops painted over a monochromatic ground. All-over lattice patterns

Death of a Nerve: 

1. How does the title affect your understanding and response to the piece?
The title shapes our interpretation of the work
– Bleak







Z  I  N  E

In continuation with the theme of board game in my infographic, I wanted my zine to share the same fun and interactive element. Hence, came the decision to design an interactive zine that people can bring along with them as the explore the area.

I decided to narrow the scope of my zine to solely Everton Park, which is the 7 blocks of HDB, as it is one of the most iconic places in Outram Park with its plethora of hipster cafes and old school shops.

C  O  L  O  U  R  S

The colour palette adopted across the spreads are derived from the colour of the Everton Park HDBs.

yellow, orange, red, white and grey


O  P  E  N    F  R  O  N  T    C  O  V  E  R

An introduction to Everton Park
I wanted to limit my colour palette so as to achieve a consistence looks throughout the spreads, hence it was pretty difficult to decide on the sky colour, as going too light will make the sky seem like its part of the HDB, while going too dark would overwhelm the viewer. Likewise, if I were to introduce blue in this page, it would not be echoed in other spreads.






F  I  N  A  L

Eventually, I decided to settle with a darker shade of orange so as to keep to the limited colour palette.







S  P  R  E  A  D    1

Tracing your footsteps at Everton Park
Initially, my plan was to create a maze which included icons of the popular locations one can find when they visit Everton Park, so that as they explore, they can trace their route. With this intention, I thought that it would be restricting to set a start and end location for the users and thus, I decided to scrap that and instead, provide them with and open maze.

1  s  t    D  R  A  F  T






The boy indicates the starting point. It was difficult to work in the block numbers into this composition so I moved on to composing a new one.

F  I  N  A  L






Joy suggested including lines to serve as a prompt and interaction as to how they can play the game.

The layout was inspired by this map.

S  P  R  E  A  D    2

Where’s Angku?
Inspired by “Where’s Wally?”, this spread requires viewers to find the angukuehs that are hidden among all the cafe food and beverages.
I observed an element of of Old vs New when I visited the place as there were several old shops hidden among the hipster cafes. As these hipster cafes take over some of these old shops, those that remain become the hidden gems of this estate and hence I decided to use “Where’s Angku?” to bring forth this idea of how these rare, old-school shops are hidden in this estate.

S  P  R  E  A  D    3

Spot the difference!
When I searched online before I actually visited Outram Park, the murals at Everton Park were one of the must-visit-and-see places. Hence, I decided to feature it in this zine in the form of a “Spot the difference” activity. Through this activity, they would be able to learn how live at Everton Park was like back then as these murals were painted by an artist who incorporated his childhood memories into these murals.

I felt that this spread was too flat for it seems to lack contrast.

However, the introduction of another colour into this spread with orange dominating the colour palette, seems out of place.

F  I  N  A  L

I switched up the background from a darker shade of muted orange with a greater tinge of red with one that leans slightly towards the yellow side.

Switched the chair into the toilet bowl hehe

Making kimchi instead of washing clothes

O  P  E  N    B  A  C  K    C  O  V  E  R

I wanted to finish off with a snapshot of the Everton Park HDB corridors since it is the main feature in this zine.

It’s been a joy working under Joy!!!
I really enjoyed illustrating this zine too hehe













F  O  O  D    S  T  Y  L  I  S  T

Everyone needs a little help to look their freshest. Celebrities have makeup artists, Instagrammers have filters, and food has food stylists. Behind mouth-watering food photos is a stylist who tricks the viewer. I am fascinated by how food stylists have the ability to exploit the appetites of consumers by tricking them into believing the perfect and flawless image of food that is presented to them, but rather, the blemishes are actually covered up with mostly inedible materials to make the food more appealing.

Hence, what is presented to the consumers is a facade (假 → Jiǎ), for the reality (真 → Zhēn) and what goes behind the preparation of the photo ready food is rather unappetising and unexpected sight.

I adopted a cheerful and bright colour palette, revealing the tricks and deceits in a fun, playful and light-hearted manner as the ability to make food look more appealing with the use of inedible materials was what drew me in to this job. Food stylists are not cheats, they are simply in the business of improvisation and manipulation to appeal to consumers. 

                                       My name is

jia-low-res-oss  zhen-low-res-oss

jia-2-low-res-oss  zhen-2-low-res-oss











 and I’m a food stylist.

C  O  M  P  O  S  I  T  I  O  N    1



I tried to incorporate some of the ingredients from the broth into the composition but instead of aiding in the integration of the type into the noodle, it made it look rather cluttered and complicated, distracting the viewers from the type making it difficult to make out the type.


C  O  M  P  O  S  I  T  I  O  N    2


Here are some other arrangements that I have tried.








I tried to form the 真 using the ingredients from the soup as well as the garnish but there was way too many things going on in that bowl and hence failed to bring attention to the type.

After taking some of these shots, I felt that the compositions look way too static and hence decided to include hands in my subsequent shots. Likewise, the usage of hands better depict the job of the food stylists as if I were to leave the tools in the frame without the hands carrying out the act of “beautifying” the food, it may be difficult for viewers to understand.









C  O  M  P  O  S  I  T  I  O  N    3


Here are some other arrangements I attempted.

jia-draft-1-brighterjia-draft-5jia-draft-4 jia-cloth












After these attempts, I finally decided on using the cutleries to form part of the word so as to make it seem like a set when placed beside the first 假 composition.

The blueberries were way too dark and black in the shots and required some colour correction.


C  O  M  P  O  S  I  T  I  O  N    4


I decided on using the shot with tooth paste in replacement of the shaving foam as I felt that though the cool tones correspond with that of the blueberries, the word Gillette that was printed in bold white across the bottle was too jarring and was snatching too much attention away from the 真 which was the focus of the composition.


Tooth paste vs Shaving cream.


A failed attempt at writing the 真 as the whipped cream melted out too quickly before I could get the shot. (wanted to see if I could use whipped cream even though shaving foam and tooth paste are being used on shoot as I wanted to eat the waffles after)

A  R  T  I  S  T    R  E  F  E  R  E  N  C  E

T  A  M  A    C  A  R  E  Y

charred-nectarrines-pannentone-with-creme-fraiche-03   white-nectarines-with-jamon-roasted-almonds-02

charred-watermelon-with-mozzarella-mint-02   snapper-crudo-with-watermelon-olive-chilli-03

I really love how she kept the background flat so that focus is given to the food and how the blue complements the food on the plates making them stand out more.

I also love the hard edge shadows which she has in all of her compositions.

D  A  V  I  D  E    L  U  C  I  A  N  O

screen-shot-2017-02-04-at-11-25-33-am   3e22e023c14336c3941b00fcc6533151

4600ff3ac3044c4e56683160556b8f6a  screen-shot-2017-02-07-at-2-29-27-am

The bright colour palette which he adopts in his works was what I had in mind for my compositions. 

S  T  E  P  H  A  N  I  E    G  O  N  O  T

photography-stephanie-gonot-01  f14d75ff4c5c8b37f2b01738bf27c3a4

Again with the flat background.

J  O  H  N    B  E  N  T  H  A  M


Flat background! Simple and minimal composition with he food featured being the only focus.

S T  R  U  G  G  L  E  S


and I forgot to convert printing files to CMYK an expensive lesson learnt. ALMOST DIED AT THE PRINTING SHOP never gonna do last minute printing again (I hope)

I was very disappointed by how colours turned out in print as the bright and pastel look was gone.

AND GREATEST MISTAKE…I went to drag the pixels to fit the frame and hence the prints turned out grainy and noisy. Lesson learnt! Got to frame the shoot and stretch the image to crop.

B  E  H  I  N  D – T  H  E – S  C  E  N  E  S

Tools: Table lamp, paper for the background and some tables


P  R  E  S  E  N  T  A  T  I  O  N